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Childrens Hospital drives central Valley volunteers (UPDATE, VIDEO, SLIDESHOW, PODCAST)

[/media-credit] Feather adviser Greg Stobbe hawks special edition Kids Day newspapers with Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, March 3.

Feather staff joins student leadership to hawk special Fresno Bee Kids Day papers

UPDATE: March. 11
After an estimate was given, March 3, for Kids Day, Valley Children’s Hospital was able to count the remainder of the money raised with a total of $535,000. Last year’s Kids Day reached a total of $480,000, which set a record for future fundraising. While this is not the total final count, Children’s Hospital has passed the goal for this year’s Kids Day reaching over the estimated $530,000.

Each year, the community, Fresno Bee and ABC 30 all join forces to earn money for the patients of Valley Children’s Hospital. For the 28th time, Kids Day has encouraged hundreds of individuals to take time selling special edition Fresno Bee newspapers across the San Joaquin Valley to earn the money to help the cause, March 3.

Community members and campus students including notable figures and organizations from Mayor Ashley Swearengin, Police Chief Jerry Dyer, and Fresno State football coach Tim DeRuyter to student leadership and publications from FC.

This year, according to the Fresno Bee: an estimated amount of $340,500 and counting, has been provided at the time of 5 p.m., March 3. Children’s Hospital spokeswoman Zara Arboleda has stated this year’s goal of $530,000 is reachable.

Since last year, Children’s Hospital has received over $6.3 million in donations throughout the course of its 28 year history. This year they hope to pass $7 million in an even greater effort to support the patients of the Madera County hospital.

Celebrity corner encourages notable figures from the community to volunteer

With the increase of involvement of a local whose who, Kids Day volunteers have deemed the corner of Blackstone and Shaw “celebrity corner”. Many notable figures from the community, as well as ABC 30 and the Fresno Bee, have used this corner to sell their newspapers for the last seven to eight years.

From the start of Kids Day, Fresno Bee has partnered with Valley Children’s Hospital. Each year they prepare these special edition newspapers for hundreds of individuals to sell. Fresno Bee Executive Editor Jim Boren has been apart of Kids Day since it’s beginnings. He really enjoys the chance the chance to help raise money for the hospital and thinks of the event as a symbol for the community.

“Well, Kids Day for one, raises a lot of money for the hospital, and does a lot of good things, but it’s also a symbolism of how important Valley Children’s Hospital is to our community,” Boren said. “This is a hospital that really cares for kids almost all of us have had either a child or a relative who has gone through that hospital and it does great work and we are just out here to help.”

Boren adds that the vision of Kids Day is expanding through the years. Along with just Fresno, efforts have been raised all across the San Joaquin Valley, including cities like Visalia and the youth of the community.

“More and more people are getting involved, we expanded across the Valley,” Boren said. “Visalia is a huge part of Kids Day, they do great work down their, especially in the high schools. So it’s expanded. This hospital has served the entire San Joaquin Valley and over the central coast, so it is an important part of the whole region.”

I have never been to this (Kids Day), and so it’s really nice seeing all these people trying to support us. Think about it this way: you are going to save a life, just by a dollar, you know, maybe fifty cents. You could spend five, ten dollars on something else, something you don’t even use. So you can make a difference with just a little bit of money. –-Juan Mendez, father of Neymar Mendez, 2015 Kids Day ambassador child

ABC 30 has also partnered with Children’s Hospital, along with the Fresno Bee, to broadcast Kids Day all day long, promoting the event. ABC 30 news reporter Amanda Venegas has estimated the volunteers of the event to over 5,000. Using the hashtag #KidsDay2015, people could promote over social media, which Venegas thinks has helped the event.

“If I could have all of our reporters out showcasing the different locations that would be really neat,” Venegas said. “But we just showcase different areas of Fresno that we can make it out to. Besides the dozens of people you see here, there is about 5,300 volunteers all over the County, like in Visalia and Merced. There is people even in the Oakhurst area that are selling newspapers right now that you don’t see. And I think social media has been huge because we can actually see what people are doing and we don’t have to be there.”

Valley Children’s Hospital Ambassador Family was able to come to support Kids Day and encourage others to donate to the cause. Juan Mendez, father of Neymar Mendez, the ambassador child, was excited to see the involvement the community offered during Kids Day and the chance to see others give their time and money for the cause.

“I have never been to this (Kids Day), and so it’s really nice seeing all these people trying to support us,” Mendez said. “Think about it this way: you are going to save a life, just by a dollar, you know, maybe fifty cents. You could spend five, ten dollars on something else, something you don’t even use. So you can make a difference with just a little bit of money.”

President and CEO of Valley Children’s Hospital Todd Suntrapak echoes Mendez’ sentiments.

President and CEO of Valley Children’s Hospital Todd Suntrapak, who was born and raised in Fresno, participated in Kids Day as well. As once a patient of Children’s Hospital, Suntrapak thinks of this event as a way to help out the children of the San Joaquin Valley.

“It’s the least I can do to take my time and come out here and thank all the terrific volunteers that are working on our behalf today,” Suntrapak said. “But more importantly on behalf of making kids well, I mean really, that’s what essentially is happening here. All these volunteers are donating their time and selling papers in partnership with ABC 30 and the Fresno Bee at the end to really a child. It’s my pleasure to be here; I wouldn’t miss it.”

Mayor Ashley Swearengin has been selling newspapers on ‘celebrity corner’ since it’s start. With other notable figures, Swearengin adds that it all comes back to help the patients.

“Every year it just gets more and more exciting,” Swearengin said. “More and more people are here, we have students from Fresno State and athletic coaches. We’ve got our law enforcement leaders other elected officials and people are out here for the same reason: to help Childrens Hospital.”

Campus works with San Joaquin Valley to sell newspapers

Student leadership, began selling newspaper at a dim and chilly 4 a.m., along with The Feather staff who came just about 45 minutes later to corners at Alluvial and Cedar as well as Cedar and Alluvial. For several years now both campus clubs have participated in Kids Day to help Valley Children’s Hospital.

With a total amount of 980 newspapers sold, campus representatives were able to contribute $1,954.13 to the cause. Students were able to sell all the way till 9 a.m., where they then headed to their classes for the day.

Senior John Dooman has been participating in Kids Day for three years. While he did not sell as many newspapers as he expected, selling one encouraged him to appreciate his time during the day.

“This year I was a little late waking up, but I was glad that I could make it to Kids Day,” Dooman said. “Even though I didn’t sell a crazy amount of newspapers, the chance to even sell one is enough to help a child in need. No matter how early it was, I’m happy I went.”

Freshman Jaden Ventura has never been part of Kids Day till this year. As a member of The Feather he was able to be encouraged by the community around him as they donated thousands of dollars to the cause.

“I remember that I was on the corner and someone gave $20 for a paper and it made me realize that people really do care about Kids Day,” Ventura said. “Being able to help be apart of such a noble cause really made the entire day worth it.”

Opinions Editor Rees Roggenstein, also contributed to this article.

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @rynnking_.

For more on Kids Day 2015, read the Fresno Bee articles, A look back at Kids Day 2015: from celebrity corner to students in Oakhurst and Fresno’s Mendez family stays strong despite child’s medical battles.

For more features, read the March 3 article, WWII Veteran receives long awaited medal.

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  • H

    Hannah NaleAug 30, 2014 at 2:36 am

    It was a ton of fun having something to do at lunch besides eating. Having an open gym caught lots of students attention. playing dodgeball was lots of fun and I would love to do that again.

  • D

    Dawson TriplittAug 30, 2014 at 2:36 am

    I loved the opportunity to take on upper class men in dodgeball. Dodgeball was a great idea by the leadership a FCS. I really enjoyed the opportunity to play dodgeball

  • J

    jacob bynumAug 30, 2014 at 2:36 am

    This dodgeball game was so much fun. I had a great time and hope we could do this again. I loved how the seniors got to play against the freshman and sophomores. so much fun!

  • K

    Kathryn DamschenAug 30, 2014 at 2:36 am

    What a great action shot! Excited to see everyone out supporting the intramural at lunch today.